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Attorney change delays murder trial

LOS ANGELES — A 36-year-old gang member convicted of killing a 16-year-old Burbank boy and trying to kill his four friends 20 years ago announced on Thursday that he has retained a new attorney, prompting the judge to postpone his sentencing.

Rodolfo Gallegos’ family retained a new attorney who planned to file a motion for a new trial before the scheduled sentencing. Gallegos’ sentencing has been delayed twice.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Bob Bowers ordered Gallegos’ former attorney, Brock Hammond, to provide case transcripts to his new attorney.

He faces multiple life sentences for the first-degree murder of Kenneth Caldera Jr. and attempting to shoot his friends as they were packed into a car on Roscoe Boulevard in Van Nuys, officials said.


Kenneth grew up in Burbank, where he played football at Burbank High and was named sophomore class prince of the homecoming court, family members said.

He was slain on Aug. 24, 1991, when he and four friends left a house party and were idling in a car on Roscoe Boulevard in Van Nuys.

A large vehicle pulled up next to them, with Gallegos holding a gun outside the driver’s-side window, witnesses said. Witnesses said Gallegos fired several rounds at the group’s car.

Gallegos was 16 when the shooting occurred in a Van Nuys neighborhood that was the territory of Gallegos’ street gang, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.


Gallegos fled to Mexico after the shooting and got a job as an English teacher at the University of Guanajuato, Celaya, according to the district attorney’s office.

He was arrested Oct. 2, 2008, in Mexico and extradited to the United States.